DragonflyPix

Northern Banded Groundling (Brachythemis impartita)

• Scientific name: Brachythemis impartita (Burmeister, 1839)
• English name: Northern Banded Groundling
• German name: Treuer Kurzpfeil
• French name: N/A
• Dutch name: Bandgrondlibel
• Swedish name: N/A
• Norwegian name: N/A
• Finnish name: N/A
• Danish name: N/A
• Italian name: Frecciamora fasciata
• Czech name: N/A
• Slovenian name: N/A
• Bulgarian name: N/A
• Typical length: 25-34 mm
• Hindwing: 20-26 mm

Northern Banded Groundling (Brachythemis impartita)

Distribution map

Map data based on J.-P. Boudot & V. J. Kalkman (eds.),
Atlas of the European Dragonflies and Damselflies

The Northern Banded Groundling is a small dragonfly of African origin which, in Europe, only occurs in a few scattered areas in Iberia, on Sicily, and on Sardinia (which is where we first photographed it). In Africa, Brachythemis leucosticta is known for accompanying grazing cattle; as the cattle move through the tall grasses and thereby flush out all sorts of small insects, their dragonfly companions find their prey presented on a silver platter. This is how we first saw the species; a handful of males and females, flying low to the ground and looking very much like miniature tumbleweeds, followed us around as we walked along a large artificial lake. The species' most distinguishing features include the mature male's all-black body and black wing bands, and the creamy-white pterostigma which gives the species its scientific name of leucosticta (in classical Greek leukos means 'white'). In fact, though, that pterostigma is bi-coloured; its outer edge is dark brown.
Note: In a recent article by Dijkstra & Matushkina (International Journal of Odonatology 12: 237-256) it is argued that this taxon should be separated into two distinct species: Brachythemis leucosticta proper, which 'occupies most of tropical Africa and Madagascar' and Brachythemis impartita, which 'ranges north and south of the Sahara, and extends into Eurasia'. As of September 2010 we have adopted the latter species name and have updated our photographs, checklists, etc. accordingly.

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1 / 20; PhotoID: Dr646 08/06/2017 11:17 Spain F8 1/800 180mm ISO200 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
2 / 20; PhotoID: Dr647 01/06/2007 15:16 Italy F5.6 1/500 180mm ISO100 Canon30D -Crop -Flash MF
3 / 20; PhotoID: Dr648 21/09/2008 12:01 Spain F5.6 1/45 180mm ISO200 Canon40D -Crop -Flash MF
4 / 20; PhotoID: Dr649 01/06/2007 15:29 Italy F5.6 1/500 180mm ISO100 Canon30D -Crop -Flash MF
5 / 20; PhotoID: Dr650 26/06/2013 15:17 Italy F8 1/500 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
6 / 20; PhotoID: Dr651 23/09/2008 12:46 Spain F11 1/180 180mm ISO200 Canon40D -Crop -Flash MF
7 / 20; PhotoID: Dr652 23/09/2008 15:19 Spain F8 1/250 180mm ISO100 Canon40D -Crop -Flash MF
8 / 20; PhotoID: Dr653 23/09/2008 15:34 Spain F8 1/250 180mm ISO100 Canon40D -Crop -Flash MF
9 / 20; PhotoID: Dr654 23/09/2008 15:43 Spain F8 1/750 180mm ISO200 Canon40D -Crop -Flash MF
10 / 20; PhotoID: Dr655 05/06/2011 11:55 Italy F8 1/500 180mm ISO400 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
11 / 20; PhotoID: Dr656 04/06/2011 15:53 Italy F8 1/400 180mm ISO400 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
12 / 20; PhotoID: Dr657 04/06/2011 16:00 Italy F8 1/200 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
13 / 20; PhotoID: Dr658 23/09/2008 15:44 Spain F8 1/750 180mm ISO200 Canon40D -Crop -Flash MF
14 / 20; PhotoID: Dr659 26/09/2008 15:18 Spain F8 1/500 180mm ISO200 Canon40D -Crop -Flash MF
15 / 20; PhotoID: Dr660 26/09/2008 15:23 Spain F8 1/350 180mm ISO200 Canon40D -Crop -Flash MF
16 / 20; PhotoID: Dr661 02/06/2007 10:36 Italy F5.6 1/400 180mm ISO200 Canon30D -Crop -Flash MF
17 / 20; PhotoID: Dr662 04/06/2011 16:03 Italy F8 1/200 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
18 / 20; PhotoID: Dr663 02/06/2007 15:18 Italy F5.6 1/100 180mm ISO100 Canon30D -Crop -Flash MF
19 / 20; PhotoID: Dr664 05/06/2011 11:55 Italy F8 1/640 180mm ISO400 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
20 / 20; PhotoID: Dr665 08/06/2017 11:17 Spain F8 1/800 180mm ISO200 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF